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11 Hip Movements for Incredible Strength

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  • Post last modified:September 25, 2023

Strengthen one of the largest and most crucial joints in your body with this efficient hip workout, demonstrated here by Chrissy King, an ISSA-certified fitness coach and creator of the Body Liberation Project. Not only will these exercises target and train hip muscles, building sturdy and injury-resistant hips, but they will also enhance the strength of your entire lower body and core. It’s a double win!

The Greatest Hip Workout Moves

How to do it: Incorporate a few of these exercises into your existing strength routine three or four days per week, or put them all together for a hips-focused workout routine.

You’ll require: A set of dumbbells (5 to 15 pounds, depending on your fitness level) and a resistance loop (or resistance band tied in a small loop)

Balancing Squat

Peter Ardito

Including a balance challenge to a traditional squat will keep your hips, glutes, and abs engaged throughout.

A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Then, while maintaining a neutral spine and keeping your chest lifted, lower into a deep squat, extending both arms towards the floor (try to touch the ground if possible).

B. Push up and shift your weight into your left leg while bending your right knee, then grasp your right shin with your right hand.

C. Hold for 1 count, release your leg, and return to the starting position. Switch sides; repeat.

Perform 10 reps on each side.

Standing Slow Side Kick

Peter Ardito

This movement is all about control, incorporating core activation while working your hip muscles. Avoid swinging your leg — utilize your hip and core strength to raise and lower it.

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands on hips, then slowly extend your right leg to the side at hip height, taking 3 full counts to lift your leg. Keep your inner thigh parallel to the floor.

B. Hold for 1 count, then take 3 counts to lower your foot back to the floor. Switch sides; repeat.

Perform 15 reps on each side.

Sidestepping Greeting

Peter Ardito

This traveling lunge targets your thighs and glutes, plus the reaching motion adds an additional core test to your hip exercise.

A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, hands clasped behind head.

B. Cross left leg behind right and lower into a curtsy lunge, reaching left hand to the floor.

C. Rapidly stand back up and return to the starting position. Switch sides; repeat.

Perform 10 reps on each side.

Alternating Side Leap

Peter Ardito

A little plyometrics goes a long way to challenge your entire lower body and get your heart pumping.

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands on hips to start.

B. Jump 3 feet to the left, landing on the left foot with the left knee slightly bent. Keep the right foot off the floor when landing.

C. Lower the right foot to the floor to return to the starting position. Switch sides; repeat.

Perform 15 reps on each side.

Hinging Deadlift

Peter Ardito

To keep your lower-body strength balanced, it’s extremely important to strengthen your entire posterior chain, also known as the muscles on the back of your body. Deadlifts, one of the most effective hip exercise movements, engage the muscles in your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back as well.

A. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the weights in front of your thighs, palms facing inward.

B. Maintaining a neutral spine, hinge forward from the hips and reach the dumbbells to the ground until your torso is almost parallel with the floor.

C. Focus on using your glutes to raise your body halfway back up, and then return to a full forward hinge again.

Perform 20 reps.

Hip Ascend

Peter Ardito

For a challenge, attempt this trendy exercise technique with your foot on a slightly unstable surface, such as a Bosu equilibrium coach.

A. Lay on your back with knees bent and feet level on the floor. Gradually raise your hips and lengthen your right leg, pointing your toes towards the ceiling.

B. Maintain this position for 1 count, then move your right leg outward to the right side at a 90-degree angle.

C. Hold for 1 count and return to the center before lowering back to the starting position.

Perform 10 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.

Shifting Sideways Lunge

Peter Ardito

What occurs when you combine a sumo squat with a sideways lunge? You achieve triple the hip workout in a single fluid motion.

A. Stand with your feet together, holding dumbbells by your sides. Take a wide step out to the right and lower into a sideways lunge on the right side, reaching the dumbbells towards the floor on either side of your right leg.

B. Bend your left knee and shift your weight into both legs, assuming a wide squat position. Extend the dumbbells to the floor in front of your body. Then, lengthen your right leg and shift your weight to the left, transitioning into a sideways lunge on the left side.

C. Propel yourself off your left foot to bring your legs together and return to the starting position. That constitutes one repetition.

Perform 10 repetitions, alternating which leg steps out first.

Traveling Squat-Kick

Peter Ardito

Tap into your inner martial artist for this maneuver that will fortify and workout your hip, quadricep, and gluteal muscles.

A. Stand with your hands on your hips and kick your right leg in an arc across the front of your body before bringing your foot to the ground into a squat.

B. Step your left foot next to the right and stand up. Switch sides and repeat.

Perform 15 repetitions on each side.

External Hip Raise

Peter Ardito

Enhance the strength of the outer hip muscles with this continuous movement. (And if you adore resistance band workouts, attempt this 40-minute full-body resistance band HIIT circuit.)

A. Wrap a small resistance band around your ankles. Lie on your left side, supporting your upper body with your left hand and forearm.

B. Extend both legs out, with your feet flexed.

Tighten abdominal muscles and elevate upper limb to height of hip, rotating limb to point toes downwards towards the surface, maintaining pressure on the elastic band.

C. Elevate leg slightly higher than hip height, pushing against the band, with heel rotated upwards towards the sky.

D. Bring back leg to hip height.

Perform 20 repetitions. Change sides; repeat.

Individual Leg Elevate

Peter Ardito

Intensify your hip workout (literally) with this specific exercise that challenges the buttocks, outer thighs, and hip flexor muscles simultaneously.

A. Initiate on all fours, distributing weight evenly between hands and knees.

B. Raise right leg out to the side, maintaining a 90-degree bend in the knee and the inner thigh facing the floor.

C. Swiftly flick the leg diagonally behind the body, bringing the heel towards the sky.

D. Bring right knee back down to the floor.

Perform 10 repetitions. Change sides; repeat.

Side-Lying Leg Lift

Peter Ardito

This hip adduction exercise is an excellent inner-thigh movement, but it also activates your abdominal muscles. To increase the difficulty, encircle your mini resistance band around your ankles.

A. Lie on the left side with the left arm extended on the floor, while the right hand is in front of the body for support.

B. Engage your abs, bring the bottom leg slightly in front of the top leg (allowing the inside of the top foot to rest on the ground), and raise the bottom leg towards the ceiling, keeping the hips aligned.

C. Pulse the bottom leg up and down rapidly. If using a band, sustain tension on it continuously.

Perform 20 repetitions. Change sides; repeat.

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